Talent in Life Sciences: Creating a System of Governance that Delivers

By Kim Ciconte, Vice President and Life Sciences Vertical Accounts Lead at KellyOCG

Life Sciences is an industry that is seeing an incredible pace of change. Huge amounts of M&A activity, global growth, and a diverse workforce mean that having the right people in the right roles has never been more important. A strong system of talent governance is vital to ensure that hiring managers can access the right talent quickly and in a way that delivers value to the business as a whole. Governance may not be a subject that provokes much excitement, but it’s central to a successful talent strategy – helping an organization to make smarter decisions around headcount and their contingent workforce by providing visibility and control.

I’ve brought together my recommendations for developing a talent governance framework that delivers, below.

Bring Everyone to the Table

For a talent governance system to work well, it has to bring everyone to the table. Not just procurement and TA but finance, legal, HR, and leadership. Everyone has to have a voice to feel invested in developing a governance structure that works for the wider business and not just for a narrow set of interests. This approach is the best way to develop a rounded system of governance and strategic talent processes that won’t be circumvented at the first opportunity. 

Empower Hiring Managers

An issue that comes up regularly in conversations with clients is a concern that hiring managers are finding ways to bend the rules and bring in workers that are measured outside of headcount. This type of behavior can completely skew workforce visibility and makes it difficult to balance resources. This is why a successful governance structure must empower hiring managers while creating a process that works for the business as a whole. The requisition channel – however it looks and feels – must deliver smart and flexible support, allowing for those times when a request will fall outside of the supply channel or require further human investigation. This built in flexibility means that hiring managers are much more likely to fully engage with the governance process.

Create a Flexible Structure that Evolves With Your Business

A governance structure can’t stand still. What works today may not work next year, never mind in 5 years’ time. That’s why your governance framework must be reviewed and refined as your business changes and develops. As you expand into new territories, acquire competitors or refine your clinical specialism, your talent governance processes should be reviewed and updated. This is where having a committee that represents interests across the organizational structure can help to ensure your governance grows with you.

Life Sciences is evolving and access to niche clinical and digital talent has never been more important to your success. Getting talent governance right isn’t only valuable, it’s an essential part of your talent strategy.